Negative Space, the work of UK-Belgian company Reckless Sleepers and director Mole Wetherell is a whirlwind of visual theatre, captured live at Adelphi Theatre, University of Salford in 2019. It takes the established worlds of physical and devised theatre and fits them out with an armoury of hammers, trapdoors, rose ceremonies of sorts, and broken walls. The performance presents a symphony of body language, inviting you into a place beyond words where movement and logic translates into a hypnotic composition of codes and riddles. There is no sense of a conventional narrative – instead, the doors are thrown wide open to the audience’s own imagination. Continue reading Negative Space: Knock Down the Walls of Your Lockdown Blues
Dear Australia, the recent project of Playwriting Australia, is like taking a walk through the suburbs. In the midst of a pandemic, it serves as a singular account of a time that has demanded us to reflect on the heart of the nation. Watching Dear Australia reveals the breadth and diversity of our national experiences, from stories about personal vulnerability to the impacts of colonisation. Continue reading Dear Australia: Reply All
Sam Shepard’s 1979 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Buried Child explores a Midwestern-American family holding onto a dark secret in the ‘70s. The arrival of their grandson Vince, whom they do not recognise, sparks the intense unravelling of that secret. In The New Group’s 2016 production, directors Scott Elliot and David Horn capture the essence of Shepard’s original work, creating a show that manages to be both hilarious and horrifying in the same minute. Continue reading Buried Child: The Modern American Classic that Shocks
Can a play be violent without showing any blood at all – no physical conflict, no punches, no guns? The National Theatre’s 2017 production of Amadeus lacked all those things, yet it may be one of the most violent plays I have ever seen. Continue reading Amadeus: A Heartbreaking Awareness of Human Inadequacy
A dramatic re-imagining of the life of the first US Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, the Broadway show is a pastiche of colonial history and urban culture. With its songs boasting rapid fire, tongue-twisting raps and riffs, Hamilton repackages a history lesson in hip-hop form that is sure to entice adults and children alike. Continue reading Hamilton: A Shot in the Dark, a Cultural Crowd Pleaser
Ghosts challenged nineteenth-century societal norms by exploring topics of religion, incest, euthanasia, and venereal disease; subjects that caused great controversy in its time. Ibsen’s theatrical realism, while less shell-shocking today, still certainly creates intense and engaging theatre. Continue reading Ibsen’s Ghosts Are Still Haunting
It is interesting to retrospectively consider the humour and gender politics of this performance in 2020. Fleabag, now almost inseparable from Waller-Bridge herself, was championed as an anti-heroine of the 21st century, who shifted the boundaries of what women were allowed to say about their own sexuality and biology. It was transgressive and taboo-smashing; a shocking revision of the female voice that was unapologetically vulgar, vulnerable and, crucially, unvictimised. Continue reading Fleabag: Sexy, Scathing and… Sad?
In these dark times, viewing Berlin’s production will most definitely be successful in lifting the spirits of even the most Scrooge-like viewer. This musical will remind you of the spirit of Christmas – and that even though this year may be lasting a lifetime, there’s still something to look forward to. Continue reading Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn – Has Christmas Come Early?
What do you find when you ferment all the mystique of the Harry Potter series with underbudget student theatre and absurdist American college humour? A Very Potter Musical. It’s a totally awesome, light-hearted, and strangely moving production that will have you laughing from lights up to curtain close. Continue reading A Very Potter Musical: (Re)finding Magic
Peter Pan is sweet, nostalgic, moving, and magically impressive. The production is more true to James Matthew Barrie’s book than the film – amongst the friendships and warmth, there is a stronger sense of danger and fear in the face of adventure. Continue reading Peter Pan: Flying Back to Neverland